Reply
Mar 27 2007
By: MichaelD~ I Only Post Everything 991 posts
Offline

Bungie/Halo 3 update

4 replies 8 views Edited Mar 27, 2007
Copied from neogaf

Quote:
The need for realistic distance drawing is vital in Halo 3, because of the sheer scale of our maps. The distant mountains in that E3 trailer are absolutely real geometry. You can detach the camera, fly out to them (which would take about fifteen minutes even with our camera’s “gas” button held down) and see that they’re even textured properly. This is a function of the nature of the Halo 3 engine, and testament to the 360’s horsepower. It means we don’t have to “cheat” as much with fancy skyboxes and obfuscation.

Quote:
These techniques appear in many levels, since technically most of our levels contain big, open spaces, at least part of the time. There are smaller scale applications too, such as humidity in a lush environment, and dust in a desert clime. It has fewer applications in multiplayer, but it is creeping in where required.

Quote:
Genius programmer Damian Isla is working on “flocking behavior” for distant battles. There are certain parts of the game where large scale air battles are going on in the distance, and the most convincing way to do that is to use real craft having real battles. Now, these particular ones are for show rather than interaction, but they should look convincing. Damian’s been tweaking the behavior of all these craft – I won’t name ‘em, but you can probably guess what various kinds are going at it – so that they have visually convincing fights.

Quote:
And gameplay is there. Seriously. The designers would scoff at that opinion given how much polish time they have left on these encounters, but already, gameplay has reached new heights. And I don’t mean Halo 3 – I mean for the entire series. This part is going to sound like hyperbolae, so I’ll reinforce the fact that this is merely my opinion:

Halo 3 encounters are more fun, more challenging, more varied and more enjoyable than those in Halo or Halo 2. The interplay and strategies created among the various Covenant foes is just thrilling. One weird thing that I just can’t get used to (in a good way, I mean) is the fact that you have to plan for multiple encounters in one location. You can see a group in the distance, and head down to fight them. You could toss a grenade to get the party started – but here’s a hint. Between you and them and the tumble of rocks and scree between you, I happen to know that a Banshee is going to drop off four Grunts and a Brute Chieftain. The Phantom itself is going to start laying down fire on you, so my suggestion is to bide your time, wait for the first Phantom, and take care of that before irritating those guys way down the hill.

Breakdown of the average Halo 3 encounter (wow):
Quote:
I thought it would be as good a place as any to describe the content of an average H3 Encounter. To do this, I made the Chief invincible, detached the camera and flew around counting stuff. Now, remember, this is live, so these guys were all fighting each other, lobbing mortars and dying, so I may be missing a few (Jackals for sure, since they were pinging me pretty good from somewhere), and I definitely saw a Phantom deliver two more ghosts while I was counting, and I literally stopped counting when, after a couple of Marines had been killed – a door on the far side of the location slid open, and revealed a whole passel of jerks. I figure the list below will pretty much give you the idea. Remember that, if you had a sniper rifle or rocket launcher, you could have destroyed any or all of the following in that one, single location. And I am deliberately leaving out a couple of items here, because they haven’t been revealed yet.

Encounter Recipe:
Scary Post Apocalyptic Environment: 1
Phantoms: 3
Grunts: 14
Marines: 6
Brutes: 8
Jackals: 3
Wraiths: 3
Ghosts: 6
Mongoose: 1
Warthogs: 1
New version of old favorite: 1
Chief: 1
Giant Bad Guy in distance: 1
Frightening and Inexplicable Maelstrom: 1
Ancient Forerunner Artifact: 1

Quote:
In combat, the scale is just as large, but the AI is different since it’s tuned for fun and challenge rather than grand spectacle. No point in a glorious sequence of barrel rolls if they serve no gameplay purpose.

More atmosphere stuff:

Lots of birds:
Quote:
But on a more literal scale, one of our contract 3D artists is working on birds. So far I’ve seen seagulls and what appears to be some kind of **bleep**atoo. Both kinds flock, wheel and fly in very large numbers. Who knows what those numbers will grow or dwindle to in the final cut, but right now the demo was about 50 seagulls wheeling and cawing above a cliff top, and looking remarkably like Discovery channel footage of an otherwise boring scene.

Water update:
Quote:
Water isn’t really clear and transparent until you’re looking directly down – at an angle, it’s a darker version of the blue of the sky, or picking up colors from rocks and trees reflected in it. But it was Joe Staten who spotted the best new water feature (I would describe him as about 85% less excited by it than me) which is a waterfall from a very early level, where the water flows smoothly and slickly over some big, smooth boulders, and then cascades more energetically down the larger drops – to end in a convincing mist and splash as it hits the main body of the river. That effect is implemented in Valhalla already. I can’t actually remember what it looked like in the Alpha version now.

mclldavidson's Gamercard

Get your own Gamercard Sig






PS3 ID is Michael_D
Message 1 of 5 (8 Views)
Reply
0 Likes
Shinra Executive
Registered: 06/15/2006
Online
42170 posts
 

Re: Bungie/Halo 3 update

Mar 27, 2007
 Hopefully this leaves me 'Wowed' unlike the first 2.  I'm not sure if I'll even get it on release though cause all I'm looking to do is finish up the story.  Multiplayer I couldn't care less about.  Nice to see that there will be actual battles going on in the distance and that they stepped up the scale of battles.

Message 2 of 5 (8 Views)
Reply
0 Likes
I Only Post Everything
Registered: 03/28/2005
Offline
991 posts
 

Re: Bungie/Halo 3 update

Mar 27, 2007
Part 1 was my fav  game ever, part 2 sucked and was a huge letdown for me.
mclldavidson's Gamercard

Get your own Gamercard Sig






PS3 ID is Michael_D
Message 3 of 5 (8 Views)
Reply
0 Likes
Shinra Executive
Registered: 06/15/2006
Online
42170 posts
 

Re: Bungie/Halo 3 update

Mar 27, 2007


MichaelD wrote:
Part 1 was my fav  game ever, part 2 sucked and was a huge letdown for me.


1 was indeed better than 2.

Message 4 of 5 (8 Views)
Reply
0 Likes
Gaming Beast
Registered: 03/31/2005
Offline
2474 posts
 

Re: Bungie/Halo 3 update

Mar 27, 2007
It will be a great game!
Photobucket
Message 5 of 5 (8 Views)
Reply
0 Likes